Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel claimed this year’s Formula 1 (F1) Bahrain Grand Prix (GP). The German driver managed to fend off Lewis Hamilton and secured a 7 point lead in the driver’s championship points.
As the race began, pole sitter Valterri Bottas of Mercedes-AMG Petronas had a good start and charged ahead of the pack. However, Hamilton lost 2nd place in turn 1 to Vettel after a poor start.
Sitting in 2nd, Vettel was called into the pits on Lap 10, which allowed Hamilton to regain his position. For a while, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas duo were dictating the pace with Bottas on pole.
A string of pit stops saw the 3 race leaders swap places, but it was Vettel who crossed the line in front of the pack, 6.6 seconds ahead. Hamilton, despite all efforts, failed to catch up and settled for 2nd. Bottas found himself in 3rd due to a lackluster performance while the other Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen landed in 4th.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, on the other hand, went as high as 4th after a late lunge in turn 1 only to crash out in turn 4 of the 12th lap due to brake failure. As for his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, the Aussie was able to finish in 5th place.
Williams’ Felipe Massa secured 6th, followed by Force India’s Sergio Perez, Haas’ Romain Grosjean, and Renault’s Nico Hulkenburg in 7th, 8th, and 9th, respectively. Esteban Ocon of Force India rounded up the top 10.
Pascal Wehrlein of Sauber made a successful return after missing out on 2 races as he finished in 11th. Other drivers who completed the race were Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer.
There were a total of 7 drivers who failed to finish the Bahrain GP. McLaren Honda’s Stoffel Vandoorne didn’t make it to the grid with a suspected MGU-H (power unit) failure while teammate Fernando Alonso retired on lap 56 with engine problems.
Williams’ Lance Stroll retired from the race for the 3rd time in a row after a collision with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz on Lap 13. Stewards slapped Sainz with a 3-place grid penalty for the next race due to the incident.
Kevin Magnussen of Haas F1 had to stop early in the race due to electronic issues while Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson retired late with a gearbox problem.
After the Bahrain GP, Vettel leads the driver’s championship with 68 points. He is followed by Hamilton with 61 points and Bottas with 38. In terms of constructor’s standings, Scuderia Ferrari leads with 102 points, followed by Mercedes-AMG Petronas with 99 and Red Bull Racing with 47.
The next race of the 2017 F1 season will happen on April 30 at Sochi, Russia.